A child carries a sign about equality at the third annual San Diego Women’s March. Photo by Chris Stone

With two-thirds of precincts partially reporting, Proposition 16 was trailing Tuesday with 55% of voters rejecting the California ballot measure to reverse the ban on affirmative action.

In San Diego County, 58.5% of voters have said no to Prop. 16.

Back in 1996, a controversial California ballot measure prohibited the use of affirmative action in hiring and contracts by local and state government and public universities.

Prop. 16 would reverse that to promote diversity in race, sex, ethnicity and national origin in the state’s public sector.

A no vote would continue the ban on these affirmative action practices. A yes vote would allow government agencies to set goals for recruiting diverse employees and granting contracts to women and minority-owned businesses.

Critics say it’s not necessary, while supporters say it gives historically disadvantaged people a leg up.

Lawyers Club of San Diego endorsed two ballot measures that affect the interests of women and people of color including statewide Proposition 16 and San Diego’s Measure B.

The California Democratic Party, Gov. Gavin Newsom, League of Women Voters of California, California Federation of Teachers, ACLU, Minority Business Consortium, and state higher education leaders all support the measure.

The California Republican Party, Californians for Equal Rights, and Chinese American Civic Action Alliance are among groups against it.

California was the first state to prohibit affirmative action in 1996, when voters approved Proposition 209 with nearly 55% of the vote.

— Staff report